It's hard to believe, but there was once a time before YouTube make-up tutorials.
But then help arrived in the form of confident, beautiful women who taught us how to smoke out our eyeshadow and how to blend concealer into our skin without looking cakey. They helped us speak the same language as our hair.
They were the YouTube Gurus™.
But most of these guru-goddesses were US-based. And for those of us in the UK, this meant some of the products they were using were very expensive – or unavailable altogether.
Thankfully the UK gurus have come out in force since then. We've gathered together some of the finest fashion and make-up YouTubers out there – who also happen to be British.
1. Fusion of Cultures
On YouTube since: December 2009
Laila has the most beautiful head of hair. And she styles it in innovative, interesting, and beautiful styles, from updos and free-flowing braid-outs to blowouts and straightened. She also flat-twists like a pro and makes her own deep conditioning mix with kitchen ingredients. Her tutorials (like this 1940s pin-up style) are easy to follow, and her accessories game is always on a straight 100. Get into her, she's ace.
2. Shirley B. Eniang
On YouTube since: December 2008
London-based Shirley does it all: beauty, fashion (check out this all-conquering Olivia Pope-inspired lookbook), hauls, tag videos, and even the odd DIY one, too. She also has a blog, and a beautiful and glamorous Instagram account, where other Brit YT gurus sometimes make an appearance. Here's the best thing: Shirley only began wearing make-up a few years ago. There's hope for us all.
On YouTube since: May 2012
Est knows wigs. She also knows weaves. The London-born, Lagos-raised make-up enthusiast wears an array of extensions in a dizzying number of colours and lengths, and makes it look super easy. She also gives good "Get Ready With Me" videos, showing her process for hair, make-up, and clothes before leaving the house. Most recently she's done a lookbook featuring wardrobe neutrals and nudes, which is coming up on 32,000 hits. Her biggest video (currently at 664,774 views) is on how to tie a headwrap in three different ways.
4. The Fly Girl Diaries
On YouTube since: June 2012
Abigail is a songwriter with a master's in chemistry – and she's also a cutie-pie who's a dab hand with a make-up brush. In the "Get Ready With Me" video above, she creates a soft and pretty look that centres around a brown lip. Her channel is a mix of tutorials (like this how-to for Type 4c hair), make-up reviews and swatches, favourites, and chat (her subjects are varied, including advice on getting a nose-piercing), and they're all adorable.
5. The Queen Hadassah
On YouTube since: January 2012
Esther is a London-based professional make-up artist, and she does amazing work. But for all of her flawless studio-ready work, she uses tools and products that are readily available to mere mortals, as she makes clear in this "Favourites" video. She recently started a series of videos on her channel called "Transformation Tuesdays", in each of which she does a full makeover on a client (including her mum), and the results are predictably gorgeous.
6. Leazz Way
On YouTube since: June 2013
Whitney is a university student (here she is getting ready for a uni ball) and also incredibly handy with a make-up kit. Her beat is make-up and hair, and as befits her student lifestyle, she uses products that are readily available and inexpensive. There's this incredibly popular video on how to trim 4c hair that's very simple to follow, and also this useful video on how to clean your gunky make-up brushes. Did I mention how cute she is?
On YouTube since: February 2011
Liz has gorgeous skin, and she wears make-up so well. She excels at making simple and useful videos, such as this one, in which she swatches both cheap and high-end pink lip colours for every budget. She also does a mix of fashion and lifestyle (there was a "weight loss journey" last year) and even a hair tutorial or two.
8. Patricia Bright
On YouTube since: February 2009
Patty is one of the most successful British YouTubers out there. She has more than half a million subscribers and she gives them so much: fashion and lookbooks, make-up and GRWM videos, chat and advice, lifestyle stuff, hauls, and she even vlogs her daily life and (incredibly beautiful) holidays all over the world. She has an infectiously upbeat personality and will occasionally rope in members of her family to join her in her videos (her wedding video has more than 1.7 million views). She's YT royalty, basically, but her videos feel like having your mate in the room.
9. Natural Rose
On YouTube since: June 2013
Nigerian-Dutch, London-based Rose is a completely charming YouTuber with beautiful 4c hair. Her channel is all about how she takes care of it, from washing and treating it with Bentonite clay to protective styles like Lauryn Hill-inspired kinky twists and bunning it. There are also tutorials on everything, including protective styling such as mini-twists and how to curl your hair without heat.
10. Chanel Boateng
On YouTube since: May 2012
Ghanaian-British, London-based Chanel mostly does videos on make-up: how to highlight for dark skin tones, how dark-skinned women can avoid common lipstick mistakes, how to find and match WOC-friendly foundations, and so on. But the mum of twins also weaves light comedy and a lot of chat into her output, as well as the occasional serious video, too. One recent upload, "How to Love Your Weight", has received more than 35,000 hits.
On YouTube since: August 2010
Jennie has been on the YT for ages. And she's bigger than ever, closing in on half a million subscribers and almost 43 million views. She recently moved from Manchester to London and she's old school YouTube, which means she does a little bit of everything: hauls, lookbooks, lifestyle vlogs, and, of course, make-up. Her Beyonce-inspired Mine tutorial is at almost 100,000 views (and is one of the best transformation videos I've ever seen). She was recently featured on ITVBe, doing a tutorial on achieving one of Nicki Minaj's video looks.
12. Jennifer Olaleye
On YouTube since: November 2010
Jennifer is of the "more is more" school: She's a make-up artist, and if you follow her on Instagram you'll see some of the bridal and party work she does. This video on how to achieve perfect brows uses only three products, and is one of her most popular. She also does fantastic hair tutorials – see her (nearing 1 million views) braid styling video here, and this how-to on using bendy rollers. Plus she uses a pleasing mix of high end and high street, which is good news for those of us on a tight budget.
On YouTube since: August 2011
Uch is so pretty (she looks a little like actor Keke Palmer) and her make-up looks are easy and achievable – the products come from the high street (or "drugstore" in YT beauty parlance) or are readily available for shipping to the UK. Her most recent video, on finding the right foundation for you, talks about finishes and coverage before offering recommendations based on skin types. The rest of her channel is all tutorials and hauls.
14. Belle Michelle
On YouTube since: June 2011
Michelle's videos offer a little of everything – festival lookbooks and tips, how to style Senegalese twists, how to do the perfect natural eyebrow – and a lot more besides. She has an engaging style, and is full of useful titbits, from the books she's reading to the best way to install a u-part wig. Get into Michelle ASAP.